Facing a personal injury lawsuit can be stressful and complex enough. It is even more so when you are contending with someone who is uninsured or underinsured. Here is what you need to know about defending yourself in cases of uninsured personal injury.
Filing for A Personal Injury Lawsuit in California
In the state of California, injured persons have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If they fail to file within that period, the court will probably refuse to hear their case and they will have lost the opportunity to get compensation. This applies whether the at-fault party is insured or not. If they have been involved in an accident or any other event resulting in injury due to somebody else’s negligence, it is always advisable to file their suits as soon as possible. As the defendant in these cases, always pay close attention to the date of the event. It could be that the plaintiff has already forfeited their right to seek compensation if they have allowed too much time to pass.
California Shared Fault Laws
Another important point to remember is that California law always considers the possibility of shared fault. As the defendant, you could easily claim that the plaintiff should share at least some of the blame for the incident. If it can be shown that they share some of the blame, the law follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule, which simply means that any amount they might be awarded will be reduced by an amount that corresponds to their own culpability in the matter. They may, for example, be found to share ten percent of the blame, or 20 percent. If they are claiming $10,000 in damages, they will then only receive $9,000 or $8,000 – whichever the case may be. Arguing for shared fault is one way of diminishing the amount you might be required to pay.
Limits on Injury Damages in California
There are a few laws in California that impose limits on the amounts or types of damages that are recoverable in personal injury cases. There is one very important one to consider if you are dealing with uninsured personal injury:
Most uninsured drivers are prohibited from recovering non-economic damages after a car accident, even if the other driver is entirely at fault. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, scarring, emotional distress and inconvenience. There is one exception to this law. This uninsured driver will be able to recover non-economic losses when the other driver is found to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.
This legal limit is important to keep in mind when being sued by an uninsured person.
How We Can Help You
Westover Law is a firm of family law attorneys based in Murrietta, CA. We have acquired a reputation as one of the leading family law and personal injury law firms in Southern California. If you have been named as a defendant in an uninsured personal injury lawsuit, contact us and book a consultation.